Burlington City man crashed car into river, left girlfriend to die, prosecutor says

BURLINGTON CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- The Burlington County Prosecutors office has charged the man who was driving the car that plunged into the icy Delaware River Sunday killing his passenger in connection with her death.

Jacob Garrett, 24, of the 100 block of Stacy Court in Burlington City, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing death while driving with a suspended license and endangering an injured victim.

WPVI/ Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

Investigators said that Garrett was traveling at a high rate of speed along Riverbank Road when his vehicle struck a parked minivan before vaulting over the river wall and into the water near Wood Street just before 1 p.m.

His passenger, identified as Stephanie White, 23, of Burlington City was found submerged in the icy water with her seat belt still on.

She was extricated by emergency workers and transported to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses to the crash who rushed over to the scene said Garrett was already out of the vehicle by the time they arrived. The witnesses reported Garrett told them "help my girlfriend" before he ran away from the scene.

City of Burlington Police K-9 Officer Kobi tracked Garrett's scent from the river to the Burlington Towne Center North light rail platform on West Broad Street.

Police then had the train stopped at the Beverly/Edgewater Park station, where Garrett was located by officers from the Beverly City, Edgewater Park and City of Burlington police departments.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing and additional criminal charges are possible.

Garrett also faces several motor vehicle summonses.

The investigation is being conducted by the Prosecutor's Office and City of Burlington Police Department.

Garrett is lodged in the Burlington County Jail. Authorities said a first appearance will be scheduled soon in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

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